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Astro Boy Mini Set 1

Guest Author - Lesley Aeschliman

Right Stuf released two DVD mini-sets for the 1960s version of Astro Boy, and this review covers the first set. This set contains five DVDs, and each disc contains five episodes. The packaging claims there are 26 episodes included, but the last episode listed on the box ("Don Tay's Infernal Machine") cannot be found on any of the discs.

At the beginning of each disc, there is a disclaimer which explains that the original masters for these episodes were destroyed in 1975. The company conducted a worldwide search to find the best quality versions of the episodes as they could, but it is warned that the audio quality differs greatly from episode to episode. While many of the episodes have a somewhat decent audio quality, there are also other episodes where the audio is extremely muffled or the audio sounds "tinny"; it sounded as if Right Stuf didn't try to go to much effort to try to clean up the audio when compiling this set. Unfortunately, for the viewer, these audio issues diminish the viewing experience of this DVD set.

Many of the episodes in the original Astro Boy series are quite enjoyable. One of my biggest gripes is how it's established in the first episode that Professor Boynton's son died in the year 2000, and Astro Boy was completed exactly a year after that (in other words, Astro Boy "came to life" in the year 2001). However, in later episodes, the announcer keeps announcing that Astro Boy's adventures are taking place in the year 2000.

By the time I finished watching the set, I knew that at least one episode was included out of order. On the last episode of the last disc ("The Strange Birthday Present"), Astro Boy's little sister, Astro Girl, is introduced. However, Astro Girl makes an appearance in the episode, "The Haunted Ship" (which is the second episode on disc four). I don't know if this issue is from the sequence of the episodes as they aired on American television back in the 1960s, or if this issue was created by whoever was responsible for compiling this DVD set.

The stories of most of the episodes on this set were enjoyable. However, the audio issues really diminished my viewing experience. For some of the episodes, I had to spend so much time straining to hear the dialogue, that at times it made it difficult to follow the story.

If you're a die-hard fan of the 1960s Astro Boy series and don't want to spend the money on the big DVD box sets, then this set might be worth picking up if you can locate it.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of this DVD box set that my husband purchased as a gift.


Disc 1
Disc 2
Disc 3
The Birth of Astro Boy
Colosso
Expedition to Mars
The Sphinx
Cross Island
Grass Boy
Zero, the Invisible Robot
Silver Comet
Hullabaloo Land
The Spirit Machine
Strange Voyage
The Artificial Sun
The Deep Freeze
One Million Mammoth Snails
Gangor, the Monster


Disc 4
Disc 5
Secret Agent 3-Z
The Haunted Ship
Time Machine
The Cosmic Giant
Toxor, the Mist Man
Satellite R-45
Sea-Serpent Isle
The Deadly Flies
Kingdom of the Sea
The Strange Birthday Present
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Astro Boy
Biography of Osamu Tezuka
Astro Boy Mini Set 2
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Content copyright © 2014 by Lesley Aeschliman. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Lesley Aeschliman. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Brenda Chen for details.

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